Page 2326 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2016

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MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how is it possible that any incidents of fire are occurring at the ACT's jail under your watch given that lighters, accelerants and matches are all classified as contraband and prohibited items at the jail?

MR RATTENBURY: It is the case that some of our detainees are quite ingenious and find ways to set fire to things—through the stripping of electrical cables and other sorts of matters. When I give Mr Wall the information he has asked for, I will also seek to provide details to Mr Doszpot of how those fires were started, if such information is available.

Planning—proposed new suburb of Thompson

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. In early March this year a Canberra Times article quoted you as raising the prospect of a new suburb in Tuggeranong with the proposed name of Thompson. Minister, will the government be going ahead with this suburb?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. At this time the government has announced that it is investigating the opportunity and wants to talk to the community about the options for a new suburb in west Greenway. We have gone through the initial part of consultation on the new suburb in electronic format and we have now appointed a community reference investigator to talk to individuals in the community, and stakeholder groups, about the options for a new suburb in Tuggeranong. It has not been reported back to me yet as to the discussions. It is still an ongoing process. It will be up to the views of the community. Of course, in any assessment with regard to environmental protection, as I have said to the public on many occasions, it is very important that we protect biodiversity across the ACT and ensure that if any development does go on in western Greenway those environmental aspects of it are secured. Of course, there would be strategic and environmental impact statements and assessments done as well.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, what is the range of environmental factors being considered by the government?

MR GENTLEMAN: There is quite a detailed range of environmental aspects, to do particularly with the river corridor and particular animals, flora and fauna, in that area. And, of course, legislation on any endangered species and the commonwealth’s environmental protection and biodiversity act would need to be adhered to as well.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, have previous development requests in this area been rejected because of bushfire risks? If so, how does the government now justify further residential development in this area?

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